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Black hole breakthroughs win Nobel physics prize

Black hole breakthroughs win Nobel physics prize

Science
Three scientists have been awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics for work to understand black holes.Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez were announced as this year's winners at a news conference in Stockholm.The winners will share the prize money of 10 million kronor (£864,200).Swedish industrialist and chemist Alfred Nobel founded the prizes in his will, written in 1895 - a year before his death.David Haviland, chair of the physics prize committee, said this year's award "celebrates one of the most exotic objects in the Universe".UK-born physicist Roger Penrose demonstrated that black holes were an inevitable consequence of Albert's Einstein's theory of general relativity.Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez provided the most convincing evidence ...
Six galaxies found trapped in ‘spider’s web’ of supermassive black hole

Six galaxies found trapped in ‘spider’s web’ of supermassive black hole

Technology
Astronomers have found six galaxies lying around a supermassive black hole in a cosmic "spider's web" of gas extending to more than 300 times the size of the Milky Way.Researchers say it was formed when the universe was less than a billion years old and this is the first time such a close grouping has been seen so soon after the Big Bang. The finding helps to better understand how supermassive black holes, one of which exists at the centre of our Milky Way, formed and grew to their enormous sizes so quickly.It also supports the theory that black holes can grow rapidly within large, web-like structures, which contain plenty of gas to fuel them, according to the astronomers. Image: Another black hole found by the European Southern Observatory. Pic...
Astronomers find massive black hole in the early universe

Astronomers find massive black hole in the early universe

Science
June 25 (UPI) -- With the help of a trio of Hawaiian telescopes, astronomers have imaged the 13-billion-year-old light of a distant quasar -- the second-most distant quasar ever found. Scientists gave the new quasar an indigenous Hawaiian name, Pōniuāʻena, which means "unseen spinning source of creation, surrounded with brilliance." Researchers described the brilliant object in a new paper, which is available in preprint format online and will soon be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. Advertisement Quasars are like lighthouses, their beams hailing from far away in the ancient universe. Powered by supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies, quasars are some of the brightest objects in the universe. As astronomers peer deeper into the cosmos, they're able to see what t...
Astronomers discover closest black hole to Earth

Astronomers discover closest black hole to Earth

Technology
The closest black hole to Earth has been discovered about 1,000 light-years away, scientists have said.It is so near that two companion stars swirling around the invisible object can be seen with the naked eye by people in the southern hemisphere on a dark, clear night. The previous nearest black hole - A0620-00 - is probably about three times further, around 3,200 light-years, according to European Southern Observatory astronomer Thomas Rivinius, who led the study.[embedded content] Each light year is 5.9 trillion miles.Dr Rivinius said of the latest discovery: "This system contains the nearest black hole to Earth that we know of." ...
‘Nearest black hole to Earth discovered’

‘Nearest black hole to Earth discovered’

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device Astronomers have a new candidate in their search for the nearest black hole to Earth. It's about 1,000 light-years away, or roughly 9.5 thousand, million, million km, in the Constellation Telescopium. That might not sound very close, but on the scale of the Universe, it's actually right next door.Scientists discovered the black hole from the way it interacts with two stars - one that orbits the hole, and the other that orbits this inner pair.Normally, black holes are discovered from the way they interact violently with an accreting disc of gas and dust. As they shred this material, copious X-rays are emitted. It's this high-energy signal that telescopes detect, not the black hole itself.So this is ...